SUPPORT SB 2176 TO INCREASE THRESHOLDS FOR FELONY LARCENY
This summary of the bill is updated to include new bill number as well as refernce to the Pew Study that showed that increaseing thresholds does not increase crime.
An increase in the amount needed to trigger a felony in larceny related cases in Massachusetts from $250 is long overdue. The present $250 amount works an injustice because it captures many low level offenses and makes felons of countless people. A felony record carries a heavy stigma, creates barriers to employment, and contributes to reliance on public assistance. There also is a 10 year waiting period to seal many low level offenses because they are classified as felonies. Increasing the threshold to $1500 or more would help many young people and numerous others across the Commonwealth who are trapped in a cycle of poverty and unemployment related to what were actually low level offenses. Massachusetts is an outlier with an outdated $250 threshold enacted in the 1980s. Every state in the U.S. has a higher amount except New Jersey ($200) and Virginia ($200). All New England states have higher thresholds for felony larceny than Massachusetts. Bill passed the senate and now calls are needed to your state reps. Please make calls.